Dating relationships and the demand withdraw pattern of communication


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You’d also have seen my partner, his arms folded across his chest, silent and unresponsive, a dismissive look on his face.

In its own unhappy-making way, this pattern of interaction is as classic as a Little Black Dress, and it has a moniker and an acronym: Demand/Withdraw or DM/W.

My last (failed) relationship, it turns out, is a psychological cliché, which is disheartening but at least it gives me plenty of company.

If you’d peeked through my windows, you would have seen me—imploring with tears in my eyes or angry with my voice raised—demanding that we address the problems we were having.

I bring up the issue of socialization in the piece but then there is other evidence that the gender of the person making the demands can be variable.